I used to collect browsers way back when, I don’t anymore although I do check out different browsers on occasion.  This conversation started me thinking about why I don’t care much about browsers anymore.

  1. Back in the early oughts there was a race to add features to the browsers. Each browser had a different feature set, UI and different resulting workflow.  It was fun to test them and see how they fit in with my routine.
  2. There were more rendering engines which made switching between browsers and adventure.
  3. Everyone was on dialup. Speed really mattered. Today, not so much.
  4. Security.  One reason I used Opera was because it was a little more secure against exploits having an oddball rendering engine.  It also didn’t auto download things from websites the way IE did.

Somewhere along the line, minimalism became the mantra for browsers.  All the neat stuff so lovingly added to browsers in the early years started getting stripped out.  It sort of made all browsers the same. Yawn.

We defeated the IE mono-culture for awhile to slowly have it replaced by the new Chrome mono-culture while Firefox seemed to drift for awhile. Apple developed Safari, but then quit the Windows field.  Many of the smaller Open Source browsers never quite seemed to ever be finished.  Opera got sold and the new owners ripped the guts out of it to make it minimalist.

In the end, almost all browsers seemed to be alike claiming to be: fast, clean, minimalist but maybe extendable, tabbed, and boring.  And if you use Chrome, also loaded with Google spyware which you probably can’t shut off even if they provide you with an alleged switch buried deeply in the UI.

Mainly I use one browser on each device, with a second as a rarely used backup/second opinion.  The days of having 4 or 5 browsers are for me pretty much over.


33°F

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After chaos, the EU’s plan to censor the internet takes a huge step backwards

Source: After chaos, the EU’s plan to censor the internet takes a huge step backwards / Boing Boing

I don’t know the details, but I’m not bound by EU rules, I will link to whoever I want to.

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Leaving Apple & Google: next /e/ release and what features are in the pipe We’re working on stabilizing the current /e/ beta so that we can release a V1.0 on early 2019. It will include an /e/ application repository that will let users install most Android applications, in two clicks.

Like: Leaving Apple & Google: next /e/ release and what features are in the pipe – /e/

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DuckDuckGo, the privacy focused search engine, has acquired Duck.com from Google. Responding to rumors from a few days ago, CEO Gabriel Weinberg said that the new domain would make it easier for people to use the company’s search engine. The Duck.com domain was previously owned by Google, after it acquired On2 Technologies back in 2010.

Like: Google relents and transfers Duck.com to DuckDuckGo – The Verge

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Bookmark: De-google-ify Internet

What we have here from France, is a campaign to provide free, open source, no spyware, replacements for many Google online services including some services that Google has abandoned.

There is some pretty neat stuff here. There is a replacement for the  late Google Groups (you send an email to the Group and it gets emailed on to every member of the group, same for replies back).  I like this better than those damn chat rooms.  There is cloud storage to replace Google Drive and Dropbox. There is an URL shortener.  Collaborative writing and spreadsheets and and even their own clone of GitHub and much more and it’s all free.

Now here is the catch.  Some seems to be translated into English but most is in French.  I don’t think that is a huge problem with the simpler services.  I mean you don’t need to understand French to figure out a URL shortener.

So if money is tight and every dime counts you don’t have to surrender your privacy to get access to these types of services.  Worth Bookmarking.

 

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The Problem: Populism and Toxic Social Networks

 

Social media platforms are the perfect places to deny nuance in favour of extreme opinions – and we are hooked on them, says author Jamie Bartlett

Source: Why is populism booming? Today’s tech is partly to blame | Jamie Bartlett | Opinion | The Guardian

From my own experience, it is nearly impossible to have a calm, rational, courteous discussion with dissenting opinions on either Facebook or Twitter.  They either become echo chambers filled with yes men and women or nasty fighting street mobs or sick stage platforms for those who revel in being easily offended.  In every way they are toxic. You should not be immersing yourself in toxins of outrage, indignation, fear and snark every day.  It’s not normal, it’s not healthy.

Is Blogging a Better Alternative?

I’m not talking about all of us launching political blogs. I’m talking about reigniting our independent spaces once again. Turning up the volume on our individual voices and real-life stories, sharing our values…creating an alternative to the mass media (now social media) messages and memes that keep floating to the top.

Source: Can blogs rebuild America?

 

I think the answer is Yes.  With your own blog you have control, you set the agenda, you create your own independent space, you make the Web the social network, uncontrolled by corporations and unmonitored by advertising tracking.  At first, coming from FB and Twitter, some of your old habits of ranting and trolling, might carry over to your blog.  You start off still filled with the toxins of those places.  But over time, away from the mobs, you start to detox – you rediscover your calmer more reasoned, nuanced and measured voice.

My Case for the Everything Blog

AKA personal blog or web presence.  These are blogs that generally represent you.  This blog, ramblinggit.com is one example.  Over at my directory at Indieseek.xyz, these give me fits because they defy categorization and they are hard to write a description for unless I am a long time reader.  But regardless, these blogs represent your voice.  Each post is about something that interests you.  All my failed attempts a blogging from well over a decade ago where because I tried to make my blogs too specialized.  With a personal blog, it’s about whatever is on your mind.  Each post is not the definitive answer, rather, it’s you thinking out loud.  Your thoughts will change over time and that’s fine, because the blog represents the journey of your thinking.

So, I highly recommend you start with a blog that represents you with no agenda.  Write about what interests you.

First Steps

Get yourself a RSS feed reader if you don’t already have one.  Personally, I use Inoreader.  Equally important get your friends to start using a news feed reader too, because when you start blogging you want your non-blogging friends to follow you!

It also helps to subscribe to blogs and see what other bloggers are doing and to be exposed to diverse voices.

Further Reading

IndieWeb generation 4 and hosted domains

The way out

Breaking up Facebook is up to us

Academic Blogging: Why Blog?

 

I’ll probably make this into a series of articles, outlining what i think are the best blogging option for you to choose so stay tuned for followups.

Part 2 is here.

This was also posted to
/en/blogging.

 

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